Sidney Crosby has been placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list and will miss the Pittsburgh Penguins matchup against the rival Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. While it is unknown if he has contracted the novel coronavirus or if he has had a negative test.
As captain of the Penguins and starting center, this will likely deal a large blow to morale and form in the coming matchup. The Penguins will look to take advantage of their taxi squad, likely moving up Evgeni Malkin to the first-line center position, and bringing in either Frederick Gaudreau or Anthony Angello to the bottom six forward pairings.
This comes at a bad time for the Penguins after being shut out by the New York Islanders in their game on Sunday, as well as having multiple players out on injury reserve already, including forwards Jason Zucker, Mark Jankowski and Evan Rodrigues. Most players who have sustained injuries are expected to be back in the line-up on March 4th, but the Penguins are expected to have a rough night given that six players will be missing the game.
The Flyers are currently ahead of the Penguins in the league while being on a three-game winning streak, while the Penguins come into this game after a couple of near-miss games. Sidney Crosby also currently leads his team in goals, assists, and overall points.
Crosby can return after two negative tests
In order to be able to return to the lineup for Thursday’s matchup, Crosby will need to have at least two tests return negative within 24 hours of each other, while not showing any signs or symptoms of any infectious disease. This also leaves Crosby susceptible to all other features of the COVID protocol, including being quarantined and unable to practice, which may see his return to play be a step slow if he requires a longer break.
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